LSA 122: Phonological structures in languages of the Horn of Africa

Sharon Rose | session 1 | TuTh 8:30 – 10:15, 50 Dwinelle Hall

This course highlights the phonological structures of various languages spoken in the Horn of Africa region (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan), and explores how they have shaped, and continue to challenge, phonological theory. The main focus will be on Semitic, Cushitic and Kordofanian language families. Semitic languages of Ethiopia and Eritrea showcase unusual phonological and morphological interaction, including the limits of root-and-pattern morphology, featural morphology and laryngeal harmony. Cushitic languages present issues of length distinctions and tone distribution. The phonological structures of Kordofanian languages are still being revealed; tone and asymmetric vowel harmony will be among the topics investigated.

Reading: Selected materials available online.

Prerequisites: Introductory course in phonology.

Areas of linguistics: Phonetics, phonology, and morphology; Languages of Africa

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